Death & Dying, Life & Living, Poetry

i didn’t know how soon you’d go


I was lucky to be at my mother side when she died on August 17, 2016. Many others are not as fortunate. Often people are wrenched from our lives brutally, without any warning whatsoever.

This piece is about death and grieving, and most particularly about the especially difficult grief when those we love are taken completely unexpectedly, leaving us without a chance to say a final goodbye. The poem, called “gone to soon,” is dedicated to people worldwide who have lost loved ones taken in tragic circumstances.

gone too soon


gone too soon

© 2016 punkie

had i known
i’d never hold
your hand again in mine
i might have felt more tender when
our fingers intertwined

had i guessed
you’d leave this world
before the night flights fly
i might have touched the peaceful soul
behind your sky blue eyes

had i divined
this time would be
the last for gifts in kind
i could have offered painted wings
to please our whimsy minds

had i thought
your breath would stop
before the day was over
i might have wished upon a star
or plucked a four leaf clover

had i gleaned
death’s hasty scheme
i would have been close by
to whisper clear: “your time is here,
let heaven be your guide

if i’d surmised
the moon would rise
without you in this world
i would have prayed and longer stayed
to watch your flag unfurl

had i believed
you’d choose to leave
heading homeward bound
i could have sung a final song
in which we’re lost and found

if i’d supposed
this door you’d close
before we’d had the chance
to say goodbye with tearful eyes
we’d have had just one last dance

but i didn’t know
how soon you’d go
a lifetime’s not enough
the days we’re leant too swift are spent
on fears and things and stuff

i think of how
it once was now
not past or future tense
when time stood still, a skylark trilled
and grief was not a fence

so here I mourn
my soul is torn
recalling times we had
walking free, across the sea
i can’t help feeling sad

today it dawned
the sun’s rays shone
to honour all we’ve lost
the gifts we got, our lives to plot
no matter what the cost

tommorow’s hope
is in my scope
my spirit soldiers on
with purpose strong to right what’s wrong
then I too, soon will be gone


Please also see: dying with my mom, homeward boundnight flights to london and dead mom talking.

© Susan Macaulay 2016. I invite you to share the links widely, but please do not reprint or reblog or copy and paste my poems into other social media without my permission. Thank you.

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Copyright: antonioguillem / 123RF Stock Photo

6 thoughts on “i didn’t know how soon you’d go”

  1. Your writings are awesome. I. lost a husband at the age of 28 many years ago. No warning no goodbyes. Thanks for sharing.


    1. sorry for your loss all those years ago. They say time heals, but I’m not sure that’s true. Maybe scar tissue grows and makes it less painful, but the wound is always there at some level 😦

      Thanks for the compliment on the writing, I appreciate the support. it’s always hard to put yourself out there, especially for me when I write poetry, because I’m such a novice and I really don’t know what I’m doing other than floundering around in my emotions and observations and just letting myself be a channel for what’s inside to spill out onto the “page.” but it seems that other people are in the same boat, because the words apparently resonate, at least sometimes, and for that I’m grateful. ❤ thanks again ❤


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